Greek to Make a Man Puke

“The false quantities made by scholars would furnish a curious list. When Joshua Barnes desired his wife to devote her fortune to the publication of his edition of Homer, and at last persuaded her to do so by assuring her that the Iliad was written by Solomon, in the joy of his heart he composed some Greek hexameters. One of these he began with εὐπρᾰγίης which Bentley said was ‘ enough to make a man spew.’ (Ribbeck lately complained that Madvig’s emendations of the Latin dramatists had the like effect on him, nauseam adferunt.)”

Hugh E.P. Platt, A Last Ramble in the Classics (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1906), pp. 153-154

One thought on “Greek to Make a Man Puke

  1. This is marvelous; harsh in those days. Reminds me of this: “In bidding a last farewell to a subject in which I never took more than a languid interest, I may be permitted to say that in England, at all events, every man will accent his Greek properly who wishes to stand well with the world. He whose accents are irreproachable may indeed be no better than a heathen, but concerning that man who misplaces them, or, worse still, altogether omits them, damaging inferences will certainly be drawn, and in most instances with justice.”
    Henry Chandler, preface to the second edition, A Practical Guide to Greek Accentuation (Oxford: 1881)

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